Brand Name Nu-Cephalex Common Name cephalexin
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How does this medication work? What will it do for me?
Cephalexin is an antibiotic that belongs to the family of medications known as cephalosporins. It is used to treat certain types of bacterial infections. Cephalexin is most often used to treat infections of the throat, skin, ear, bladder, respiratory tract, and bone. It works by killing the bacteria causing the infection.
How should I use this medication?
The recommended adult dose of cephalexin ranges from 250 mg to 1,000 mg 4 times daily. It can be taken with food or on an empty stomach.
The usual dose of cephalexin for children is based on body weight. The recommended dose is 25 mg to 50 mg per kilogram of body weight each day, divided into 4 equal doses.
Many things can affect the dose of a medication that a person needs, such as body weight, other medical conditions, and other medications. If your doctor has recommended a dose different from the ones listed here, do not change the way that you are taking the medication without consulting your doctor.
Although it may be absorbed more quickly if it is taken on an empty stomach, cephalexin may be taken with food or on an empty stomach. The overall effect is not changed by taking it with food.
The liquid form of this medication should be measured accurately with a medication spoon or oral syringe.
Finish all of this medication, even you start to feel better. This will reduce the chance of the infection returning.
Store the liquid form of this medication in the refrigerator. Do not freeze. The tablets should be stored at room temperature. Protect all forms of this medication from light and moisture, and keep it out of the reach of children.
What form(s) does this medication come in?
Nu-Cephalex is no longer being manufactured for sale in Canada. For brands that may still be available, search under cephalex. This article is being kept available for reference purposes only. If you are using this medication, speak with your doctor or pharmacist for information about your treatment options.
Who should NOT take this medication?
Cephalexin should not be taken by anyone who:
- is allergic to cephalexin, any of the cephalosporin antibiotics, or to any of the ingredients of the medication
- is allergic to penicillin (people allergic to penicillin should be monitored by their doctor as they have an increased risk of being allergic to cephalosporin antibiotics)
What side effects are possible with this medication?
Many medications can cause side effects. A side effect is an unwanted response to a medication when it is taken in normal doses. Side effects can be mild or severe, temporary or permanent. The side effects listed below are not experienced by everyone who takes this medication. If you are concerned about side effects, discuss the risks and benefits of this medication with your doctor.
- mild diarrhea
- mild stomach cramps
- sore mouth or tongue
- vaginal itching or discharge
Although most of these side effects listed below don't happen very often, they could lead to serious problems if you do not check with your doctor or seek medical attention.
Check with your doctor as soon as possible if any of the following side effects occur:
- abdominal tenderness
- convulsions (seizures)
- decrease in urine output
- hearing loss (young children)
- joint pain
- severe abdominal or stomach cramps and pain
- skin rash, itching, redness, or swelling
- unusual bleeding or bruising
- unusual tiredness or weakness
Stop taking the medication and seek immediate medical attention if any of the following occur:
- diarrhea (watery and severe; may also be bloody)
- fever that appears after starting the antibiotic
- signs of a severe skin reaction (e.g., blistering, peeling, a rash covering a large area of the body, a rash that spreads quickly, or a rash combined with fever or discomfort)
Are there any other precautions or warnings for this medication?
Allergy: Some people who are allergic to penicillin antibiotics also experience allergic reactions to cephalosporins, including cephalexin. Before you take cephalexin, inform your doctor about any previous adverse reactions you have had to medications, especially cephalosporins and penicillins. Contact your doctor at once if you experience signs of an allergic reaction, such as skin rash, itching, difficulty breathing, or swelling of the face and throat.
Antibiotic-associated colitis: This medication, like other antibiotics, may cause a potentially dangerous condition called antibiotic-associated colitis (or pseudomembranous colitis). Symptoms include severe, watery diarrhea that may be bloody. If you notice these symptoms, stop taking cephalexin and contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Bacterial resistance: Misuse of an antibiotic such as cephalexin may lead to the growth of resistant bacteria that will not be killed by the antibiotic. If this happens, the antibiotic may not work for you in the future. Although you may begin to feel better early in your course of treatment with cephalexin, you need to take the full course exactly as directed to finish ridding your body of the infection and to prevent resistant bacteria from taking hold. Do not take cephalexin or other antibiotics to treat a viral infection such as the common cold; antibiotics do not kill viruses, and using them to treat viral infections can lead to the growth of resistant bacteria.
Kidney function: People with severe kidney problems may require a lower dose of cephalexin. People with kidney disease or reduced kidney function should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed.
Liver function: Cephalexin can cause a decrease in liver function, although this happens only occasionally. People with liver disease or reduced liver function should discuss with their doctor how this medication may affect their medical condition, how their medical condition may affect the dosing and effectiveness of this medication, and whether any special monitoring is needed. If you experience signs of decreasing liver function, such as yellowing of the skin or whites of the eyes, dark urine, or pale stools, contact your doctor as soon as possible.
Overgrowth of organisms: Prolonged or repeated use of cephalexin may result in an overgrowth of bacteria or fungi and organisms that are not killed by the medication. This can cause other infections to develop, such as yeast infections.
Pregnancy: This medication should not be used during pregnancy unless the benefits outweigh the risks. If you become pregnant while taking this medication, contact your doctor immediately.
Breast-feeding: This medication passes into breast milk. If you are a breast-feeding mother and are taking cephalexin, it may affect your baby. Talk to your doctor about whether you should continue breast-feeding.
What other drugs could interact with this medication?
There may be an interaction between cephalexin and any of the following:
- cholera vaccine
- multivitamins with minerals
- sodium picosulfate
- typhoid vaccine
- stop taking one of the medications,
- change one of the medications to another,
- change how you are taking one or both of the medications, or
- leave everything as is.
All material copyright MediResource Inc. 1996 – 2018. Terms and conditions of use. The contents herein are for informational purposes only. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Source: www.medbroadcast.com/drug/getdrug/Nu-Cephalex